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RELIGST 115X: The Civilization and Culture of the Middle Ages (HISTORY 15D, HISTORY 115D)

This course provides an introduction to Medieval Europe from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. While the framework of the course is chronological, we¿ll concentrate particularly on the structure of medieval society. Rural and urban life, kingship and papal government, wars and plagues provide the context for our examination of the lives of medieval people, what they believed, and how they interacted with other, both within Christendom and beyond it.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI

RELIGST 117X: Losing My Religion: Secularism and Spirituality in American Lives (AMSTUD 117N, EDUC 117N)

In this seminar you will explore theory and practice, sociological data, spiritual writing, and case studies in an effort to gain a more nuanced understanding about how religion, spirituality, and secularism attempt to make legible the constellation of concerns, commitments, and behaviors that bridge the moral and the personal, the communal and the national, the sacred, the profane, and the rational. Together we will cultivate critical perspectives on practices and politics, beliefs and belonging that we typically take for granted.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Kelman, A. (PI)

RELIGST 162X: Spirituality and Nonviolent Urban and Social Transformation (CSRE 162A, URBANST 126)

A life of engagement in social transformation is often built on a foundation of spiritual and religious commitments. Case studies of nonviolent social change agents including Rosa Parks in the civil rights movement, César Chávez in the labor movement, and WIlliam Sloane Coffin in the peace movement; the religious and spiritual underpinnings of their commitments. Theory and principles of nonviolence. Films and readings. Service learning component includes placements in organizations engaged in social transformation. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center).
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 188A: Issues in Liberation: Central America

Within the context of US intervention in Latin America the course investigates the history of liberation movements in El Salvador and Nicaragua (including liberation theology), as well as ethical questions relating economic, social, and political issues in those countries. This class will likely include immersion travel to El Salvador or Nicaragua over spring break and consequently the size of this course is limited. Students will be given an application by email. All applications will be reviewed to determine final class enrollment.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Sheehan, T. (PI)

RELIGST 209: Priests, Prophets, and Kings: Religion and Society in Late Antique Iran (CLASSICS 147, CLASSICS 247, RELIGST 309)

This course is designed as a broad introduction to the religious and social history of the Sasanian Empire, encompassing the period from 224-651 CE as well as the early years of Islamic rule in Iran. Among the topics we will discuss are: the lives and deeds of the powerful Iranian emperors such as Shapur I and II in relation to the the Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantine; the transformation of Zoroastrianism into a powerful official religion of the state and its subsequent orthodoxy; the emergence of the prophet Mani and the confrontation of Manicheism with the Zoroastrian priesthood; the conversion of Constantine to Christianity and its political and social ramifications in Iran; the establishment of an independent Iranian Christian church; the importance of Armenia in the Sasanian- Roman conflict; and a brief discussion of the history of the Jewish community under the Sasanians. We will end the quarter by examining the Arab¿Islamic¿conquests of Iran and the profound social changes experienced by the Zoroastrian communities in the early centuries of Islam in Iran.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI
Instructors: Vevaina, Y. (PI)

RELIGST 209E: Imperishable Heroes and Unblemished Goddesses: Myth, Ritual, and Epic in Ancient Iran (CLASSICS 148, CLASSICS 248, RELIGST 309E)

Designed as a broad introduction to the world of ancient Iran, students will be introduced to the Indo-European inheritance in ancient Iranian culture; the shared world of ritual, religion, and mythology between Zoroastrianism in Iran and Vedic Hinduism in India; and to the contours of early Zoroastrian religious thought. We will also survey mythoepic literature in translation from the archaic Avesta through the late antique Zoroastrian Middle Persian corpus to the early medieval national epic of Iran, the Book of Kings of Ferdowsi.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-SI
Instructors: Vevaina, Y. (PI)

RELIGST 212X: Knights, Monks, and Nobles: Masculinity in the Middle Ages (FEMGEN 212X, FEMGEN 312, HISTORY 212, HISTORY 312, RELIGST 312X)

This course considers masculinity as historically and culturally contingent, focusing on the experiences and representations of medieval men as heroes, eunuchs, fathers, priests, husbands, boys, and fighting men. Recognizing that the lives of men, like those of women, were governed by gendered rules and expectations, we will explore a wide range of medieval masculinities, paying close attention to the processes by which manhood could be achieved (e.g. martial, spiritual, sexual), and to competing versions of manliness, from the warrior hero of the early middle ages to the suffering Christ of late medieval religion.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 215X: Saints and Sinners: Women and Religion in the Medieval World (FEMGEN 215, HISTORY 215)

Although the Apostle Paul taught that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28), men and women experienced medieval Christianity in ways that were often vastly different. In this course we examine the religious experiences of women from the origins of Christianity through to the end of the medieval period, with particular attention paid to female prophets and religious authority, saints and martyrs, sexuality and virginity, literacy and education within the cloister, mysticism, relations between religious women and men, and the relevance of gender in the religious life -- especially as gender intersected with fears of heresy, sin, and embodiment.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI

RELIGST 235: Religion in Modern Society: Secularization and the Sacred (RELIGST 335)

What is the status of religion in modern life? Is the modern world "secular" in some fundamental, irreversible way and what does this mean? This course will explore these questions through variety of readings from leading sociologists, philosophers, and anthropologists. Our goal will be to understand in what ways industrialization, political liberalization, the rise of technology, and the success of modern science have been used to support the "secularization" thesis that the modern West rendered religion a thing of the past. A central question to be asked will be: do assessments of the place of religion in modernity necessitate a philosophy of history i.e., a theory not only of historical change, but of the meaning of this change as well?n The course will begin by looking at the origins of the theory of secularization from its beginnings in Enlightenment attempts to understand the meaning of history. We will then turn to contemporary debates over the term "secular" against its counterpart, "religious", and the problems with their application to non-Western societies. We will read works by Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood, Max Weber, Charles Taylor, Jürgen Habermas, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Last offered: Spring 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

RELIGST 255: Religion and Power in the Making of Modern South Asia (HISTORY 297F, RELIGST 355)

This course examines the diverse ways that religious traditions have been involved in the brokering of power in South Asia from the late seventeenth century to the present day. We will examine the intersection of religion and power in different arenas, including historical memory, religious festivals, language politics, and violent actions. At the core of our inquiry is how religion is invoked in political contexts (and vice-versa), public displays of religiosity, and the complex dynamics of religion and the state. Among other issues, we will particularly engage with questions of religious identity, knowledge, and violence. Undergraduates must enroll in RELIGST 255 for 5 units. Graduate students must enroll RELIGST 355 for 3-5 units. HISTORY297F must be taken for 4-5 units.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Truschke, A. (PI)
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